Unfortunately, most adults will lose at least one tooth as they grow older. In addition to being an unsightly problem, missing teeth can also increase your risk of countless other oral health complications down the road. Luckily, restoring a smile is easier than ever with cutting-edge dental implants. Those devices look and feel just like natural teeth, and they can easily last for decades with the proper aftercare and good oral hygiene habits.
Finding the Right Dentist
When dental implants are needed, you should always go with the best dentist that you can find. Even though this procedure has an extremely high success rate, it is still complicated. Before you plan on having the operation carried out, you should schedule a consultation with the dentist to ask them any questions you might have. Your dentist will also need to go over your medical history and take a closer look at the state of your oral health to ensure that you will be a good candidate. While implants can last a lifetime, the patient must have healthy gums and jaws. If you and your dentist decide that you are a good candidate, you can schedule your initial appointment right away.
The Implant Process
Even though implants can sometimes be created and put in place on the same day, the procedure is usually spread out over two appointments. For the first appointment, the dentist will numb the treatment site if a tooth must be extracted. They will also need to take digital images of the mouth so that the dentist can create the custom crown. If the tooth is already missing, the site will be anesthetized before the implant rod is placed. For a few weeks, that rod will bond with the bone in a process known as osseointegration.
Once the bond has been formed and the patient’s mouth has fully healed, the patient can schedule a second appointment. The total length of time between the two appointments depends on many different factors, but the average patient will recover within 60 days fully. When the patient arrives at the second appointment, the dentist will replace the temporary crown with the permanent crown. That device is made custom for the patient, which means it will look and feel just like a natural tooth.
What About Minor Damage?
For minor damage, your dentist might suggest dental bonds. That type of procedure is typically preferred if the damage is only on the outer layers of the teeth. Dental bonds can also alter the size or shape of a tooth to create a more balanced smile. One of the most significant benefits of dental bonds is that the procedure is minimally invasive, and patients usually don’t require any anesthetic. The dentist will have to place the bonding material on the outside of the tooth before gently shaping it. It can then be cured with a powerful light in minutes.
Restoring Your Smile and Confidence
When dental implants are needed, you must contact an experienced and skilled dentist as soon as possible. Your smile is one of the first things that people notice about you, and you need to be sure that it is as beautiful as possible. An experienced dentist can help you come up with a treatment plan that fully restores the appearance of your smile as well as the functionality of your teeth.